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Bar Divani - Grand Rapids, MI

Not what it used to be


Restaurant Category : Wine Bar

Bar Divani – Grand Rapids, MI: Located at Ionia Avenue in Downtown Grand Rapids, Bar Divani was once a hot and happening place and a great place to kick back and relax.. With a fancy-pants vibe, extensive wine menu and superior food the last time I visited, I expected more of the same, if not a better experience this time around.

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One of the two (that I know of) Grand Rapids Wine Bars, we settled in and saw that the place had not changed much at all. Physically that is. A large wine rack is still prominently displayed beside several tables, the bar was still impressive, and the mood was still that of an upscale Grand Rapids restaurant. The menu had still the same small tapas plates for sharing and larger main dishes, but the wine menu selection was significantly smaller.

The food:

Tuna Maki Roll – made from Ahi tuna, sweet onion salsa and cilantro leaves, this roll still tasted as wonderful as it did the last time we were here.

Eggplant Napolean – A dish of crispy eggplant medallions, fresh mozzarella, arrabiata sauce and arugula, the taste was decent though nothing spectacular.

BBQ Ribs – Moroccan spiced ribs with homemade bourbon BBQ and a chick pea & sweet potato salad; The ribs were good, though not as amazing as it was before.

Shrimp and Grits – A festival of sautéed shrimp, pancetta, scallions, lemon supremes and chipotle cheddar cheese grits, this dish was great. This was the first time we had it, and I am left impressed.


As mentioned above, the wine selection has deteriorated, though Bar Divani still had impressive liquor options. They serve wines by the glass, beers, cocktails and other liquors as well. The wine list was still large, but surely paled in comparison to what it once was, and the prices had increased as well.

Service, well, that was probably the only thing that has not changed much. Our waiter was attentive and our orders arrived promptly. Not exceptional, but not bad either. I’d say it hovers between mediocre and great.

Overall, Bar Divani is still one of the finer Grand Rapids Wine Bars in the area. Though it’s still a great place for a nice meal and good wine, compared to several years back it has become a dull, quiet place. Wine selection has deteriorated and the food has gone downhill. If the quality remained consistent through the years we could easily have given it a Bombastic rating, however, as it is it, Bar Divani just barely ekes out an Almost Bombastic rating.

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What I liked: Great ambience, good wine, good service

What I didn’t like: Smaller wine list, food not as good as before

Rating: Almost Bombastic

Bar Divani Address and Telephone Number:
15 Ionia SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-774 9463

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